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Why you don’t want to be likeable

Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

101 Respect

Would you rather be liked or respected in a negotiation? It is possible to be liked and respected in business relationships. But, if you have to choose one, choose respect. Choosing to be liked rather than respected is a sign of weakness. It makes you a people-pleaser. People inherently respect strength and disrespect weakness.

Average negotiators want to be liked and give up their power to please others. Great negotiators earn respect by being firm but fair, dependable but flexible, and by rigorously holding to principle over the course of a negotiation and a career. And they will not accept anything less than the respect they know they deserve. The difference between being liked and being respected is huge! And it generally translates into much higher income earnings and sizeable credibility over time.

But earning respect requires a willingness to be disliked for a variety of reasons that are sometimes arbitrary and often beyond your control. You will need to develop thick skin, even while you practice empathy, courtesy, and fairness in your dealings with others. The integrity that earns respect can be an affront to those who want you to do things for them that your integrity will not allow. No one likes rejection or the word “no” when he or she wants to hear “yes.”

The ideal negotiation is a win-win affair, with both parties mutually happy and relating harmoniously. But this ideal is not the norm. Negotiations are like all relationships: Anything can happen. They can be pleasant or unpleasant, fruitful or disappointing; they can work or fall apart. Some people you negotiate with may not like you personally, for mysterious reasons. They may react to little things, or make things personal even when they’re not. Often people have unresolved issues in their lives and your appearance on the scene may remind them of these unpleasant issues. Perhaps your level of integrity reminds them of something where they compromised their level of integrity and your presence in this negotiation aggravates that unpleasant memory for them. The bottom line is you are not responsible for them, only for yourself. If they make something unpleasantly personal simply maintain your dignity, self-respect and your moral values and don’t get dragged down by them. Accept what is, and move on.


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